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Anytime Labor-Kansas LLC v. Anderson

United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division

July 5, 2018

ANYTIME LABOR-KANSAS LLC, et al., Plaintiffs,
CHRISTINE ANDERSON, et al., Defendants.



         Now before the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment as to Defendant Christine Anderson.[1] (Doc. 45.) Plaintiffs served their motion on Defendant Anderson by mail at Defendant Anderson's last known address. (Id. at 3.) This service was effective under Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(b)(2)(C). Alternatively, service was effective under Fed.R.Civ.P. 5(b)(2)(D), by “leaving” the motion with the Clerk which occurred upon the electronic filing of the motion. To date, no response has been filed and the time for doing so has now expired. L.R. 7.0(c)(2). As such, Plaintiffs' motion is unopposed. For the following reasons, Plaintiffs' motion is GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Defendant Anderson was previously employed as a temporary worker by Defendant Anytime Labor-Kansas, LLC. (Doc. 46 at ¶ 4.) Defendant Anytime Labor-Kansas, LLC does business under the name “LaborMAX Staffing.” (Id. at ¶ 2.) As part of her two-page application for employment, Defendant Anderson executed a Policy Regarding Dispute Resolution (the “Arbitration Agreement”) which states:

         Policy Regarding Dispute Resolution

I agree that any disputes arising out of my employment, including any claims of discrimination, harassment or wrongful termination, that I believe I have against LaborMAX Staffing and all other employment related issues (excluding only those claims arising under the National Labor Relations Act or otherwise within the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board) will be resolved by arbitration as my sole remedy. The American Arbitration Association under its Commercial Arbitration Rules shall conduct the arbitration and the decision of the arbitration shall be final and binding.

(Id. at ¶ 5; Doc. 46-2.)

         Plaintiffs are seeking a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief from the Court precluding Defendant Anderson from proceeding with an attempted class/collective arbitration that has been filed with the American Arbitration Association, Case No. 01-17-0003-6335 (the “Anderson Arbitration”). In the Anderson Arbitration, Defendant Anderson is seeking to bring claims against Plaintiffs for gender discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq., and for age discrimination in violation of the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”), Mo. Rev. Stat. § 213.010 et seq. and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. (Doc. 46 at ¶ 11.) Plaintiffs seek relief on the grounds that Defendant Anderson's Arbitration Agreement does not permit arbitration of claims on a class or collective basis, and as such, the arbitrated claims must be arbitrated individually, and not as a group, class or collective arbitration.


         As discussed below, the Court finds the Arbitration Agreement only permits individual arbitration and also finds Plaintiffs are entitled to a permanent injunction from further prosecution of the Anderson Arbitration.

         A. Standard of Review

         “The court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). A party who moves for summary judgment bears the burden of showing that there is no genuine issue of material fact. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 256 (1986). A party opposing a motion for summary judgment must point to evidence in the record demonstrating the existence of a factual dispute. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1); Conseco Life Ins. Co. v. Williams, 620 F.3d 902, 909-10 (8th Cir. 2010). “If a party . . . fails to properly address another party's assertion of fact . . . the court may consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion [or] grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials - including the facts considered undisputed - show that the movant is entitled to it[.]” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e)(2)-(3).

         B. Declaratory Judgment

         The Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA”), 9 U.S.C. § 1 et seq., “declare[s] a national policy favoring arbitration.” Nitro-Lift Techs., L.L.C. v. Howard, 133 S.Ct. 500, 503 (2012) (citation omitted). The FAA states that agreements[2] to settle a controversy arising from a contract by arbitration “shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, ” unless grounds exist at law or in equity that allow for revocation of the contract. 9 U.S.C. § 2. “When a valid arbitration agreement undisputedly encompasses the claim, a court must enforce the agreement according to its terms.” Perras v. H&R Block, Inc., No. 12-00450-CV-W-BP, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 189175, at *5 (W.D. Mo. Nov. 13, 2013) (citing 9 U.S.C. § 2; Pro Tech ...

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